The Name Game

In the Philippines, the name game is always fun. We’ve heard quite a few doozies here, some of which have really left us scratching our heads.

Filipinos love double names, such as Jayjay, Jojo, and Monmon. Even less flattering double names like Dodo seem to go over well here. Names which sound like bells are even more popular, like Tong, Tatong, Bong, Bibong, Bongbong, Dong and Dingdong. Apparently, phallic associations are no problem. Just ask Dingdong Dantes, the famous actor, he’s gone far with his most unfortunate name.

There are many names which sound vaguely familiar, such as Diday (D-Day), Kulit (Cool it), and Laygo (Lego). Occasionally, these familiar names take a darker turn. Poor Talabong and Recto really didn’t stand a chance.

Popular culture has had its impact. Rhoda’s mom surely liked ’70s sitcoms. And Benhur’s dad was probably a big Charlton Heston fan. I have a feeling Wenceslao’s parents liked Christmas songs and Jay Linao’s liked late-night comedy talk shows.

Cute names are always popular: Chicky, Jinky, Trendy, Glady, Baby, Boy and Apple. (Hey, maybe Gwenyth Paltrow is a Filipina. No, now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure she’s Burmese.) Occasionally, these cute names stray into the truly bizarre, such as Baby Josephine and Lord Dantem.

Well, one thing is for sure. There is no official government-sanctioned name list like they have in Germany. Clearly, Filipinos have the freedom to name their children anything they want – and they are pushing that right to the limits.

7 responses to “The Name Game”

  1. avatar Dad says:

    I think teaching you the English language was a mistake?


    Dingdong Dantes?????

  2. avatar Shinette says:

    DingDong is such a common Filipino name I didn’t even give it a second thought until you brought it up here.

  3. avatar Tony says:

    Yep, for Americans the name Dingdong is quite funny. In addition to being a child’s euphemism for penis, it’s also the sound we use when we imitate a doorbell. But clearly this isn’t getting in anyone’s way in the Philippines.

    Actually, one of my favorite things about Filipinos is that they have a good sense of humor about themselves, including names. That’s fantastic.

  4. avatar Joyceee says:

    and when they talk about DingDong the actor, the penis or doorbell don’t come to mind!haha

    I think we got the naming people with two names from the Spanish. Like Leandro Jose, Ramon Christiano, and such. I dunno where we got the Double names tho. Come to think of it, it is hilarious! We even have a famous politician names BongBong

  5. avatar Sandra says:

    Lol. Sometimes I refuse to call people by name here. For example, I could not for the life of me say “Hey Baby” to my bank rep.

    I once met a woman named… I kid you not… Cherry Pie.

  6. avatar Gringo (yep that's my name) says:

    I like this. Haha!

    We also sometimes combine mom and dad’s name into baby’s. Like Jessie and Maria has a kid named Jesmar. And to top that, Jesmar would sooner be called either Jes-Jes or Mar-Mar.

    Ding Dong Recto: Winner.

  7. avatar pating says:

    that’s what people get when they cater malayan,indo-chinese, spanish, japanese, american cultures.. they become to artistic on making names.. nyahahahaha….

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